Most college students look forward to the summer because it’s a break from the classroom and their studies. But Markeese Meriwether, a senior at Murray State University, isn’t like most college students.
“My favorite thing about chemistry is the lab. Being in the water quality lab for the summer is great experience and it’s also pretty fun,” Meriwether said.
He is one of four summer helpers at Louisville Water. The chemistry major started at the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant in June. Across town at Louisville Water’s distribution warehouse is Meriwether’s younger sister, Keana, a junior at Morehead State.
“I’m majoring in nursing, so it’s totally different,” Keana explained about her experience working in the field.
She works everyday with Natalie Shaw, a sophomore at Lindsey Wilson College.
“We’ll drive around and go to all the different addresses we have on our list. We’ll check the meters and the vaults. First, we have to see if they need to be vacuumed out or if there’s just mud in there. Then we have to see if the meter needed to be raised in the vault and now we’re just seeing if they were broken, if they’ve been fixed or not,” said Shaw, a business major.
Working outside in the rain or heat has given them an appreciation for what Louisville Water crews experience year-round.
Both said they think their fathers are pretty proud of them. It so happens Plumber Leader Shawn Shaw and Emergency Turner Keith Meriwether’s friendship started long before Louisville Water.
“It is really cool that Keith and I went to high school together and were hired together in 1999,” Shawn Shaw shared. “Now that we have two daughters that are working here at Louisville Water as summer help together, it is even more special and adds to the dynamic of our long friendship.”
Louisville Water pride certainly flows through the generations.
Working at the B.E. Payne Water Treatment Plant this summer is Water Research & Development Manager Eric Zhu’s son, Alex. It’s the University of Illinois junior’s second year as a summer helper. His work is mostly in-office this time checking data reports on backflow preventers at businesses.
Zhu, a mechanical engineering major, explained, “We have them (companies) install backflow devices which prevents their water from getting back into the main which is a public safety thing. These have to be checked annually and we have contractors test the devices.”
While each student is taking away something different from their summer job, they’ve all learned it takes a lot of work to deliver high-quality Louisville Pure Tap® every day.
“I go to different cities and different states and the water is not as good, so I knew there was something,” Markeese Meriwether said. “Now to know (firsthand) and I’m actually working with it, and I see the entire treatment process unfold, it’s pretty cool. I like it.”
Louisville Water wishes all of its summer helpers a great fall semester!